Reviews of the work of Liber Fridman
The critics have their say
"... The painting of Liber Fridman tends towards a plane-like expressionism. An emotion- intensely pure at its base, crystalline in its creative force, transparent in its of generation of beauty- is resolved simply and effectively as it invades the plane architecture of the canvas and proposes a harmony from which an instantaneous impact of beauty emerges. Without pre-planned schemes and intellectual poses which have so tarnished painting today, these forms and colours rise dearly and forcefully, unshakeable in its amazing meaning, coherent in their technical brilliance and fully precise in their dazzling aesthetics..."
Edgardo Pérez Luna, in "El Comercio," Lima , Peru , August 24, 1962
"... They have a harried look towards a poorly understood past and offer a primitive note that often seems as ancient as the most ancient cave paintings. They show a subtle understanding of colour, generally shadowy and awesome earthly colours; and at times, in their yellowy and even shining colours, the handling of the pictorial plane is outstanding. Fridman generally insists on a flat surface that he shapes in a certain way, giving it two dimensions at times, and thus achieving a revealing visual experience."
Marlan Miller, in "The Phoenix Gazette," U.S.A. , March 4, 1964
"There are few times in life that one has the opportunity of having a new experience in art. The unexpected discovery of Liber Fridman's painting is a case in point. His pictures achieved with mastery, are captivating, definitely one with our time and a real delight."
John Davis Hatch Lennox , Massachusetts , U.S.A. , December 1964
"Liber Fridman constitutes a paradox. He is a modern artist, plunged into the remote past. In the land of the tombs he finds ochers, burnt reds and greens that he has added to his palette. What he presents to the public is an ingenious combination of painting and collage in a very personal style."
"Life Magazine," March 1965
"...Fridman reaches an exacerbated naturalism when he proposes to us the very presence of the object. Certainly as an artist, as an authentic inventor, he has transformed everything into excellent compositions, as aesthetic as they are pictorial, and fundamentally transcendent."
Ernesto Ramallo, in "La Prensa," Buenos Aires , June l0, 1965
"...Fridman's work is full of magic and art as it joins past and present in one creation where the myth lets us enjoy its enchantment."
Olle Granath, in "Dagens Nyheter," Stockholm , January 27, 1965
"...Fridman is more than a painter; he is fundamentally a worshipper transformed into creator by his passion. Passionate, impregnated by the vanished civilizations, he recreates a universe that lives on the thread of his fantasy, and that places in movement the magic of a time that rises and imposes itself, because that in fact is the power of the creator. We have before us an art that lives, vibrates and breathes."
Michel Serpin, Art Critic of Radio Sweden , (French language), Sweden , October 1966.
"...Fridman's works are the fruit of a silent and inquisitive mind searching for the form-image that glows in telluric testimony and translates itself into expressions of universal meaning.
Vicente Caride, Member of the International Society of Art Critics, Buenos Aires , June 1967
"...Fridman, whose painting is nourished in enigmatic spiritual resonances originated in indigenous myths, faces his theme of mystery with a vocabulary whose accent, I insist, is expressionist, or more precisely, neoexpressionist, since its framework comes from a personal assimilation of a conceptual and technical experience of the most current explorations in the visual arts. The ancient and the modern, in sum, are jointly present in his work and provide a troubling vibration where we recognize that as yet unrevealed timeless spell of our continent."
Córdova Iturburu, Buenos Aires , April 1969
"... They have awakened my interest with their original focus and the singular artistic personality that emanates from such works. Something very deep and painful is extracted from these compositions with their fainting and violent colour, with their shredded forms that you have achieved with pigments gathered in the tombs, with blackened cloths and straws that seem to speak to us of the present in relation to the past, with a marked accentuation of Memento Mori.
These are my impressions of your work that I so highly esteem."
Julio E. Payró, Buenos Aires , April 27, 1969
"...Like a blacksmith who creates an entire chain from a single link, Fridman from these Precolumbian elements will make a strange and suggestive work, buttressed by his technical skill in collage. His marvellous palette will make the rest of the miracle happen, giving the work its necessary nuances. In his pictures, the demons of vanished civilizations are present in their fine winged images. The spirits do not descend from heaven, but rather transcend from the bottom of the earth. From there the images blossom forth in hallucinating sequence. Life arises from the tombs in strange scenes that remind us of Chagall in their dream-like capacity..."
Emilio Bobbio, in "La Cronica," Lima , February 11, 1971
"...His art really blends the fantasies of a remote past with the free structure of contemporary art."
Louise Frost Buonassise, in "The Christian Science Monitor," Boston , May 24, 1972
"...Fridman confers on them the strange mission of making poetry out of his enchanted constructions, with contemporary criteria, with the attitude of a painter in the here and now. And he succeeds in setting up an interaction whose interest surpasses their apparent visual context, where the sum of the distinct times is, paradoxically, their elimination as such and their accession to a kind of active timelessness."
Osiris Chierico, in "Confirmado," Buenos Aires, March 1972
"... Today the painter Liber Fridman represents for Americans and Europeans what Cortazar, Borges, Scorza , Asturias and García Márquez represent in the literary revolution. It is the Latin American essence printed on canvas."
Dinah Rivas Pinheiro, in "Panorama," Curitiba, Brazil, April 1976
"...It is there in that authentic and responsible act of self-awareness, where the symbiosis of the archeologist, the anthropologist and the artist arrive at a profound accord, that all this labored creation sets off on its flight of self-identity. Starting from a pregnant state of inertia, it refers us finally to the encounter of the imaginary with the tangible, the living with the dead, the irrational with something surpassing the real. The work comes to birth devoid of any 'ism' that might limit it and leaves us unexpectedly captured by its spirits."
Jorge Paez Vilaró, Maldonado , Uruguay , March 1978
"...His compositions are loaded with earthen resonances alluding to the mythology of a people rich in traditions. And in the gallery of his paintings human scenes arise, touched by the randomness of imagination built in the tree of life, in the incantation of offerings, in the glance at birds transfigured by the spell of a secret music."
Romualdo Brughetti, in "La Nación," Buenos Aires , October 25, 1980
"...As Fridman once again brings to life in his works all that mass of meaning, there stands out above his paintings and images the rebellious shout of a true artist who possesses deep feeling..."
Jorge Feinsilber, in "Mercado de Arte," Buenos Aires , October 31, 1980
"...As he calls these images to life, Fridman offers us that precious freedom to follow him in flight through all he evokes. There, thanks to his persistence and faith, the ancient fairy ghosts of American earth recover the relevance that is theirs. It resembles Shakespeare's achievement in 'Midsummer Night's Dream.' Naturally the 'isms' and variants retreat into the background. The governing idea I mentioned earlier imposes its truth and all the rest is orchestrated based on that, and since the idea itself is immense, the art of Liber Fridman is immense as well."
Rafael Squirru, Buenos Aires , October 1980
"... With those worlds of dawns and dusks, where love and death, germination and war, reality and myth were so intimately united, Liber Fridman composed an original pictorial saga. Every legend of the saga is a vibrant picture of carefully crafted colours and the rarest of light. We can read these works literally and, although we do not grasp their deepest meanings, the vision endures of an exotic and attractive imagination. If, on the other hand, we try to clarify these symbols by means of a semantic leap, we will achieve a richer understanding of them. It would take another paragraph to do justice to the techniques this artist employs to express randomness, the passage of souls, eternities that eye us..."
María Scuderi, in "Siete Días," Buenos Aires , November 4, 1980
"...And this is the lucid candor we discover behind the untiring quest of Liber Fridman. We suspected a hidden wealth, but now we are before the blossoming of a visible treasure. For many of us, in spite of this revelation, America will always be an enigma, a mystery, but we know and believe that the mystery and enigma do not form an irrelevant obituary. It seems to us, rather, that they encompass something like love, like death, like hunger for eternity, all of these steadfast companions of the human trek.
Daniel Vera, Cordoba , March 1981
"...A work that fulfills abundantly one of the inherent functions of art, which is religiosity, with the great myths and archetypes that underlie every step of the human adventure. And if Fridman's painting, as he likes to affirm, is made of the malleable matter of dreams, it might be asked who dreams of whom, who lights the lamp of the journey, which star points the way, which fairy ghosts whisper in the ear the sure and true path."
Patricia Rennella, Córdoba, August 2, 1981
We must be in love with eternity if we wish our works to be even the merest suggestion of it.' These words of the Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic, my father, can be applied perfectly to the person and pictorial work of Liber Fridman. Each past has its own message. In its mystery is enclosed the most profound and veiled truth, a truth that speaks of the essential experiences of human beings, from pain to solitude and to struggle, from faith and love to hope. That is why these longings know nothing of racial differences, earthen distances, days of the calendar. Fridman, as few have done, knew how to appreciate their intonations, could catch their harmony in the aesthetic-visual, full of colours and volumes. He also deciphered the reserved silent language of the souls of those people. But such expression cannot be based solely on momentary states of will and awareness of the self, but rather on a zealous and at the same time serene quest of the modes of existence.
We must join in solidarity to the ultimate degree, we must suffer the common experiences of an entire ethnic group and so raise it to an universal level. In fact, Liber Fridman reached down into the soul of archaic worlds on a continent; and now, we, as spectators of his work, can become familiar with them, as we are carried along by the rhythms from remote times that are captured and endure in his canvases. Whoever looks fixedly on eternity will succeed in joining into one reality all of time's dimensions: yesterday and tomorrow in the everlasting today. With his oils and canvases, Fridman weaves the story of uncountable destinies, all distinct and all equal, like the grass and the flowers. The light, gift of the sun, which from these pictures envelops us with its eternal motion, is a stranger to the maddening obsessions of modern man; this light, wise and undisturbed reflects an intimate folk world that in all its richness and transcendence Fridman chose to make his own."
Maritza Mestrovic, Buenos Aires, June 25, 1983
Laura del Castillo: "Smoke, the prophetic flight of birds, earths and natural pigments, found alongside ancient weavings and tools. Restoration of sanctuaries, symbiosis of folk paganism and the European cultures. In Fridman the permanent imposition of those elements finds its common denominator in one sensation: that of death."
Liber Fridman: "My work sets out to meet death at its seat of power. It is an unending dialogue with the dead whom I saw or whom I imagined, and who acquired life for me, as if their stiff hands touched mine and their lifeless eyes were fixed in the look of mine."
Laura del Castillo, in "La Prensa," Buenos Aires, June 12, 1983
"A great exhibition is being held at the Museum of Modern Art . A sincere sense of vocation pervades the work, which is developed with materials that contain the virtue of symbol and the power of its correspondences..."
"La Nación," Buenos Aires, September 7, 1985
"...In National Exhibition Hall, he has gathered some 200 works of diverse enchantment, of dissimilar sources, in a fantastic display of ochers, revealing unreachable mysteries, extracted from the dust and from oblivion. And, still, that is not all of Fridman, because every year he renews his dedication with that feast of suns which he keeps in his 'wandering' eyes."
Eliseo Castiñeira de Dios, in "La Razón," Buenos Aires, April 1989
"...His own images, his dreams and symbols are enmeshed with those of a far-off people, then reunited in new paintings."
Irene Ferrari, in "La Prensa," Buenos Aires, March 3, 1991
"He is a kind of Atahualpa Yupanqui in visual arts. His spirit has breathed along the footprints of America and it is there where his pictorial roots come to rest..."
"La Gaceta," Tucumán, October 1991
"Whoever visits the exhibition of his work at the UNT will discover there multiple proposals, visual and aesthetic postures, quests and sightings with which Fridman enunciates his magic-transparent messages. It may be colour taken to its greatest expressive and tonal intensity by sheer necessity. It may be the riot of matter chosen for display, the exact simplicity of form or the elements through which pass little demons, mythic birds, beings unknown or whose memory is lost in time..."
Ramón Alberto Pérez, in "La Gaceta," Tucumán, October 21, 1991
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